According to the Times report, Pakistan is the only country to be granted access to the military service of China’s Beidou satellite navigation system. China’s pitching Beidou, which now has more than 30 satellites and began general global service on Thursday (Dec. 27), as an alternative to the US’s military-developed GPS system.

The sat-nav system is part of China’s efforts to steer its infrastructure cooperation with developing nations increasingly in the direction of advanced technology, connectivity, and space exploration—projects that would be less visible than the kinds of massive construction China has funded so far, and that are important to Beijing as it seeks to be at the forefront of technological advance amid suspicion from developed economies.

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